Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Guess My Favorite Color

Happy WIP Wednesday! First, a quick update on my Macbook Pro - last night, I worked up the courage to fire it up and it WORKED! We didn't lose any data, either, so I feel extremely lucky and relieved. Good to know - rice is your friend should liquids invade your electronics.

I am still plodding along on my Destash Dolman, which has seen modest progress since last week; I am halfway through stripe #15:
Over the weekend, I decided to do a little stash diving to find the perfect yarn to make a scarf or cowl to  complement my new winter coat, and came across 4 skeins of Wisdom Yarns Limerick in a bright emerald green with a few subtle turquoise hues mixed in. I snapped it up shortly after Thanksgiving via Craftsy Deals* with no real plan for it, I just wanted it because it was pretty. I thought this might be a good choice for the Calm Cowl, which is a free crochet pattern on Ravelry. I'm nearly through the first ball of yarn, too!
The main project that I've been focusing on is these legwarmers, which I cast on for just last week and I'm already starting the second one! On Monday night while Tyler was at work, I did my sewn bindoff while watching the first episode of Downton Abbey (yes, I'm a little behind the times, I know!).  I am totally in love with the yarn from The Uncommon Thread - both the color and the fiber content. It's very shimmery and silky and slightly variegated. The pattern is the Spanish Moss Legwarmers from November Knits; I'm very excited to wear these with some of my winter skirts!
Finally, I decided to start a spinning project over the weekend - no, not the lovely Wensleydale that just arrived, though I am very tempted to put that next in my spinning queue (plus, it would have fit with my green color scheme this week - which is purely unintentional, I promise!). As part of Spin-O-Loution 2013, I started to spin a braid of merino I bought at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool festival last fall for the bargain price of $6....which probably should have been my first clue that something was up!

As soon as I started working with the fiber, it was clear that it wasn't Merino (or anything even remotely in the same ballpark). It actually feels like some Romney fiber I dyed & spun myself a few years ago; it's a little heartier and heavier than the natural Romney I just finished spinning and much more lustrous. I'm hand carding all of the fiber before spinning and attempting to spin from a rolag in my effort to try new things. It's going moderately well, and I'm sure I'll have this spun and plied in another week or so. While I'm disappointed that the fiber is mislabeled, I'm still excited to see it all spun up - the dyed colors are so pretty and autumnal, which is really the reason I decided to buy it in the first place. I think it'll look great with a Navajo ply, and it'll probably become a felted handbag or perhaps a hard-wearing hat.

Looking for a little WIP Wednesday inspiration? Hop over to the Tami's Amis Blog for all the blogginess you can handle!

*Incidentally, Craftsy has been having some a-ma-zing yarns on flash sale this week, ie. the sweater's-worth of Canopy Worsted from The Fibre Company that I snapped up for 50% off! 

Click my affiliate link to explore today's deals!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Panoramic Stole + Yet Another Tale of Laptop Woe

As promised, here are a few more photos of the Panoramic Stole - I'm loving it! It turned out even better than expected, and I still can't believe I knit the entire thing in less than a month. I am always amazed at how quickly I can finish large projects if I don't allow myself to get distracted by startitis...and I think I am starting to like this new approach to starting (or rather, not starting) projects.
On Friday night, I was all set to work when disaster struck - somehow I managed to spill tea all over my Macbook Pro. It immediately turned itself off and I snatched it off of the desk and turned it upside down hoping that some of the liquid would drain out. Then I cleaned up the lake of tea that had formed on the desk, inching closer to our other Macbook which shares the same desk, and began googling what to do about my crisis at hand.

Conventional wisdom and various friends who have been through the same experience told me that my initial reaction was correct, and the next step was to take it apart as much as possible (for a Macbook Pro, pretty much all I am comfortable doing is removing the back, so I'm hoping for the best) and submerging it in rice. Yep, you read that correctly - rice. I didn't have very much rice on hand, so I took what I had and gave the guts of the Pro a rice bed for the night. On Saturday, I went and bought several boxes of rice so that it could spend the rest of the weekend literally submerged in rice. Rice is indeed nice!

I am waiting as long as I possibly can before turning it back on. I probably could try it today, but would rather err on the side of caution and give it a few more days to dry out. Hopefully, nothing got fried in the process (I at least knew enough to ground myself when taking things apart). Worst case scenario, we have to buy a new motherboard, which we needed to do anyway because the USB ports went kaput. Perhaps the universe is nudging me along.

The silver lining: this time around, we have a functioning backup laptop, so life can continue more or less the same as always. Also, this is much more manageable than the time I smashed the laptop screen about a year ago (ironically, the laptop in question is the one I am using in lieu of the Macbook Pro) with the possibility of a DIY fix. Of course, if the motherboard has to be replaced, that'll surpass the screen replacement cost, but we'll just cross that bridge if we come to it. Finally, the Wensleydale fiber I ordered last week from Northbound Knitting arrived - what great timing! I didn't start spinning it yet, but I am very, very excited about it. So pretty!

Friday, January 25, 2013

FO Friday: Panoramic Stole & Handspun Romney

My Panoramic Stole is done, and ahead of schedule, too; I wanted to finish by the end of this month at the latest, though my real goal was to bind off at the close of this coming weekend. I did end up omitting a panel, as I was running out of yarn: I have 14g left over, which is definitely not enough to make it through another mesh panel, let alone the short-row garter section. I was a little worried about cutting things short, so to speak, but everything ended up just fine - my shawl is very close to the 80" length listed in the pattern, in fact. I'm sure that if I wanted to block to the specific dimensions given, I could easily hit those marks!

Here's a shot of it blocking in my yarn room. Once it's dry, I'll be sure to take an "action" shot of me lounging around the house in my pretty new shawl! The pattern is from Coastal Knits, which my husband got me for Christmas, and I used two skeins of Malabrigo Sock in Chocolate Amargo.

In other exciting news, I spun & plied 4 oz. of 100% Romney fiber in under a week  - a record for me! Yep, I'm totally in love with my new Ladybug wheel; it's amazing how much easier everything is when you have the right tools.

Image from
One of my goals this year (besides spinning through my stash) is to spin with new-to-me- breeds of sheep and other fibers. While I love my spinning staples (usually BFL and merino blends), it's time to branch out and learn more about the wonderful world of fiber!

Each time I spin a new fiber, I'll be doing a bit of research to learn more about it. Here are some fun Romney facts from Clara Parkes' Book of Wool, and

The Romney sheep is an adaptable breed that dates back to the 13th century in southeastern England (more specifically, a marshy area of Kent called - wait for it! - the Romney marsh). This hardy longwool required minimal attention, as the sheep are very independent and have very little interest in straying. They used to be referred to as Kent sheep, but once the breed began to spread, they were dubbed Romney. They are now raised in other parts of the world such as the Falkland Islands, New Zealand and parts of North America. Additionally, Romney sheep have been used to build such breeds as the California Variegated Mutant (CVM), Perendale, Romeldale and Coopworth.

I'm also really excited because earlier this week, I snapped up a book I've been eyeing for quite some time - I just happened across it when cruising the latest Craftsy Deals. There are so many adorable projects in Amigurumi On The Go, many of which I want to make for myself! It will also come in handy since so many of my friends are having babies this year....I simply couldn't resist. I'll be sure to post a review once I receive my copy!

Celebrate FO Friday by checking out more posts over on the Tami's Amis blog!

Have a crafty weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Sweater Progress & New Projects!

Happy WIP Wednesday! I've made more progress on my Destash Dolman - now I'm up to twelve and a half stripes!

On Monday night, I finished the Panoramic Stole that I started on Christmas day, which meant I was free to start a new project (or two!). I've been wanting a new pair of legwarmers, so I went shopping from my stash and decided to find the perfect pattern for the skein of The Uncommon Thread's Heavenly Fingering in Zitouni that a friend gave me last summer. The yarn is aptly named - it is incredibly soft, silky, and (you guessed it) heavenly to work with. I decided to make the Spanish Moss Legwarmers from November Knits, which I got for Christmas. That got me thinking about all of the wonderful books I received as gifts last year, or acquired at TNNA, or have had on my shelf for I decided that I would see how many projects I could make from my extensive knitting & crochet library this year, just for fun.

The other project I started was a quick little crocheted owl hat, which I was inspired to try after seeing an adorable version of this on the bus a few weeks prior. I found this free pattern by Sarah Zimmerman and thought I'd give it a try with some leftover Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Growth and Douglas Fir. I'm not too far along, but so far, so good!

P.S. Check out more WIP Wednesday posts over on the Tami's Amis blog!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Spin-o-lution: Spinning My Stash in 2013

I've been a non-participating member of the Spin Your Stash group on Ravelry for many years, but I think the time has come to quit lurking and be a joiner! My spin-o-lution this year is simple - to spin through my stash.

Last week, I took stock:

1. Multicolor Merino Roving, 6.6 oz - purchased at the Yarn Barn of Kansas
2. Natural Black Alpaca Roving, 4 oz. - purchased from New Era Fiber at Stitches Midwest
3. Charcoal 70/30 Alpaca/Silk Blend Top, 4 oz. - purchased from Spunky Eclectic
4. Natural Cream Finn Top, 5 oz. - purchased from Spunky Eclectic
5. Dyed Falkland Top (Cloudy Night colorway), 4 oz - purchased from Pumpkinhaus booth at YarnCon
6. Natural Merino/Silk Fiber, 4.75 oz - can't remember where this came from!
7. Red Alpaca Top, 6 oz - originally purchased from Spunky Eclectic in a natural cream, dyed by me back when I still worked at Lorna's Laces.
8. Light Brown Romney Top, 4 oz - gifted by a friend
9. Dark Brown BFL Top, 6 oz - purchased from Spunky Eclectic
10. Dyed BFL Roving (blue/grey), 4 oz. - Purchased from Kitchen Sink Dyeworks at Renegade Craft Fair
11. Dyed BFL/Silk Roving (Green Eyed Monster colorway), 4 oz. - Purchased from the Miss Babs booth at Stitches Midwest
12. Dyed Merino Roving (Autumnal Shades), 4 oz. - Purchased from the Happy Hands booth at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival
I had no idea that I have enough fiber in my stash to do one spinning project each month! I started spinning the 100% Romney fiber; I thought that would be a good choice while I am still getting used to my new wheel. This is my first spinning project that will be made entirely with my Ladybug, and I decided to experiment with the Scotch Tension, something I've never tried before. Holy crap, it's awesome! I am finally able to spin the skinny singles I've been dreaming of!

Naturally, there should be some treats along the way acting as the carrot that gets to me to hold fast to my plan. I started off by ordering some hand-dyed Wensleydale fiber from Northbound Knitting that should arrive sometime this week - I suppose it should be listed as #13 above!

After I complete 3 spinning projects from my stash, I plan on buying the Manos hand-dyed merino top I've been pining for since I spotted it at TNNA last year. When I spin through half my stash, that will most likely coincide with YarnCon, which is an ideal time to stock up on spinning fiber from indie dyers. After I spin through 8 fibers from my stash, I'm planning on trying some new-to-me sheep breeds such as targhee or polwarth. I'm not sure what I'll do once all 12 fibers above have been spun up, but it will have to be some sort of a special treat. Perhaps I'll get the bulky flyer? Indulge in still more fiber? At least I have some time to decide!

Friday, January 18, 2013

FO Friday: Knit, Crochet & Spin!

Happy FO Friday! Today I have a project to share from each of my fiber-related hobbies: knitting, crocheting, and spinning!

I bound off for this Mesh Top on January 5, but it's taken some time to weave in all the ends, block properly, and take some decent photos, hence the delay in sharing it on this blog. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out - honestly, I just assumed it would be a huge disaster - laceweight yarn and I aren't on very friendly terms. I'm surprised that it didn't take longer to knit, and I think it'll be nice to wear this spring. I used a pattern from Patternfish (the Filtes Shetland 1354 Open Dolman by Michelle Porter) and only used one and half skeins of Bijou Basin Ranch Shangri-La, which is a luxurious 50-50 blend of yak and silk. I have enough left over to make something fun, too (just as soon as I'm ready to get back on the laceweight bandwagon).

Last week, I crocheted these birds for our kickstarter rewards for the two people who selected the custom-made bird option. The pattern is Stacey Trock's Amigurumi Blue Bird from her Amigurumi Woodland Animals Craftsy Class. I love this pattern, it's so easy and fun to make!

This week, we delivered all of the rewards that didn't involve the actual 7" single (which is currently at the pressing plant). It's exciting to check a few more items off of our to-do list! 

I haven't had much time to play with my fancy new Ladybug wheel due to the holiday hoopla, but I'd been working on a spinning project when my new wheel arrived, which meant I had to finish said project on the old wheel - well, at least spinning the single. Once I got that finished, I navajo-plied it on my new wheel, which was a slow process for me since this was my first attempt (other than a few practice runs on leftover singles). I love the fiber, which is a 50-50 Tussah Silk/Merino blend from Miss Babs. I chose this colorway, Fog Bank, for a special fiber friend whose favorite color is purple. Hopefully it's already arrived at its destination before this blog posts, because I don't think I can wait another day to share it!

All things considered, my first navajo-plied yarn turned out pretty well. I'm very excited to start a new spinning project this weekend; 2013 is going to be about spinning through my stash, experimenting with my wheel, and trying new fibers and techniques. I think it would be amazing if I could literally spin every fiber in my bin. Perhaps I should take an inventory so that I can check my progress off as I go?

Aaaaand, if you still need some lovely FO's to look at, hop on over to the Tami's Ami's blog for all the FO Friday fun you can handle!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Staying the Course

Amazingly, I've been avoiding startitis this month, spending most of of my crafting time working on the Destash Dolman I started earlier this month and the Panoramic Stole I began on Christmas Day. Don't get me wrong - there are TONS of projects I'm dying to start, but for some reason I am content to work on these with the hope of finishing them much earlier than expected (and, of course, giving me free reign to start something new!).

The Destash Dolman has become my outside-of-the-house/transit project, since I don't need to reference the pattern while I'm working. I've definitely made some good progress after a few adventures outside of the homestead: last WIP Wednesday, I had three stripes completed - now I'm up to 8!

The Panoramic Stole has seen the most progress, especially since I've been working on it diligently for the past four days. I finished up the first skein of yarn on Monday night and have reached the point in knitting where I'm so comfortable with the pattern, everything just chugs along at a nice, crisp pace. When I started this project, I pretty much assumed I'd be working on it til the springtime - and I suppose I would be, if I had allowed myself to be distracted with other projects. My goal is to bind off before the end of this month. Actually, I'd love to be finished by the end of this coming weekend, but I think that the end of this month is a much more attainable goal. Either way, it beats my original projected finish date, so

Check out even more WIP Wednesday posts on the Tami's Amis link-a-rama!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Addicted to Kickstarter!

Ever since I pledged my first project on Kickstarter to help The Wool Dispensary get started, I've been hungry to find and fund more interesting projects via the site. Late last year, my band successfully raised funds to release the first two 7" vinyl singles in a 4-single series, so I know how hard people have to work to meet their funding goals - it's definitely not easy!

Last year, I funded a project by my poster-making friends Nick and Nadine of Sonnenzimmer to help them create and print a book of their work. It just arrived in the mail at the beginning of this month; it's so exciting to physically hold the finished product in your hands and know that you played a small part in that object becoming a reality. Last year, I also funded a local brewing start-up (which culminated in a beertastic brewery tour right before Christmas), a graphic novel called the Intrepid Girlbot, and a gorgeous quarterly magazine for crafty folk by Susan Gibbs and Jeannie Bloch called By Hand

I swear I'm not saying all of this to brag on myself, but merely so you can see the wide range of projects that are on Kickstarter! I know there has been some negative press surrounding projects that meet funding and fail to produce the thing they are raising funds for, but so far I have been lucky in that every project I've pledged has a) reached their funding goal b) fulfilled their rewards and c) successfully completed their project or launched their company. 

So I am very excited to share the three projects I have pledged my support to this month - I hope you'll consider making a pledge! 

1. 18th Street Brewery (Funding closes February 4)

I found out about this project while touring the Begyle brewery here in town last month. They still have a ways to go to reach their goal, but I hope they make it, since this will be the first Brewery to call Gary, IN home. Even though I'll probably never make it down to that neck of the woods, it sounds like they'll be making some really stellar beers. There's only one way to find out, though!

2. Handspun Single Sheep Breed Yarns (Funding closes February 10)

I randomly came across this project yesterday when searching for other knitting- and crochet-related projects to fund. Naturally, I found it intriguing: luxury hand spun yarns from single-breed fibers? Count me in! The rewards options are really awesome; for $15, I'll be receiving a 2 oz. skein of 100% Shetland handspun yarn. There are tons more options, too - some of the sampler packs were mighty tempting. Aside from the great rewards, there aren't many breed-specific yarns out there outside of the typical Merino & BFL fare. While I love both of those breeds dearly, I think it's great that other breeds will be made available to those who don't spin (though I highly recommend giving spinning a try!).

3. Straker Classics Online Catalogue (Funding closes February 28)

My company (The Wool Wide Web) has been working with Penny Straker, who has been a knitwear designer since the 1960's, to update her website and preserve this piece of knitting history. The next phase of our efforts involve the digitizing of her patterns to make them available as PDF's for sale online. These patterns are unique because they are well-written, straightforward, and accurate. No shortcuts to save space here! Additionally, they are written for weights of yarn, not specific brand names, so any appropriate yarn that tests to required gauge can be used in the project. I've long been a collector of vintage knitting patterns (which are often very poorly written), so these patterns are the best of both worlds - vintage designs to knit with modern yarns! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Random Monday

Whatever happened to the Darn-A-Thon? I found myself wondering this over the weekend - the holidays really put this project on the back burner, but yesterday I decided to resurrect it by repairing the first pair of socks I ever knit for myself.

These socks were knit just before the dawn of Ravelry (if any of us can remember that time!), so they aren't even entered in my notebook, but the yarn is from Knit Picks. In my early knitting days, I didn't know there was a whole world of yarn outside of a Michael's store - I had only recently discovered Knit Picks! I hadn't even encountered this thing called 'luxury yarn', and I had just moved to Chicago after spending three years in Portland, OR. Even though I grew up in the midwest, I knew my first winter back would be tough (boy was it ever!) and I would need some wool socks to get me through.

Of course, I had no idea how to make socks, as I was still pretty new to the whole knitting scene. My very first order from Knit Picks was stolen from one of my neighbors in our sh*ithole first apartment (it was seriously a dump), but they were kind enough to send me a replacement once I contacted them. Even though the yarn was inexpensive, these socks have survived many years of service with nary a hole. They turned out surprisingly well, despite the fact that I had no idea what I was doing at the time and the instructions I was following weren't terribly helpful. I'm no longer into self-striping yarns, but it's a nice reminder of my early days of sock knitting!

Even though it isn't FO Friday, I wanted to share this project that I've been secretly working on. I knit this little monster for my SIL's baby shower which was on Saturday. The pattern, Olive the Monster Christmas Tree Ornament by Rebecca Danger, was originally written for fingering weight yarn, but I decided to try a worsted-weight version using the Berroco Ultra Alpaca I had leftover from the Monster Baby Booties and Pointy Hat. She turned out to be pretty cute!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Secret Knitting: Baby Stuff!

I've got another round of secret knitting to share with you this week! I have several baby-related FO's that haven't been blogged on the offchance that my SIL would come across the photos - a slim chance, but not one that I'd was willing to risk!

I put together a Box O' Baby for my brother- and sister-in-law, who are expecting next month. We're really excited to have a nephew here in town! The spoiling has already begun....
Monster Booties 

I knit these in Michigan colors (my brother-in-law is a fan) using two colors of Berroco Ultra Alpaca using the pattern from Rebecca Danger's Knit a Monster Nursery book. Too cute!
Earflap Hat

One thing I know for sure: babies need hats! I had leftover yarn from the booties, so I whipped up a hat to match. I used the Pointy Monster Hat pattern from the same book, though I omitted the moster face. I thought that might be overkill!
Kimono Cardi 

I love making baby sweaters - they're so fast! - and this is one of my favorite patterns from Louisa Harding's Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. I used two colors of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted (Growth and Douglas Fir), which is a superwash yarn that is super-soft yet durable. Douglas Fir was one of my favorite colors back in the days when I dyed yarn for Lorna's - and it still is!
Eucalan Goodies

I'd be remiss if I didn't include a bottle of Eucalan with so many hand-knit goodies - I thought Lavender would be a useful choice, since it's calming and naturally antiseptic. The Eucalan Wipes are a bit of an inside joke - I got them hooked one night when we were out at dinner and there was an unfortunate barbeque sauce incident with a white shirt.

Speaking of nephews, this little guy is my nephew Rhys, who lives in Portland, OR, and he is VERY close to winning an ice cream party for this entry in a photo contest on Facebook. If you happen to be on Facebook, please click here to like the photo and vote for Mr. Ice Cream Face! Voting closes this Sunday, January 13. Thanks for helping out!

As always, there is more FO Friday fun over at the Tami's Amis blog!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Selfish Knitting Edition

After the last several months of knitting primarily for others, I am very happy to indulge in a little selfish knitting for the start of this year. I haven't made too many resolutions for 2013 thus far, but I do know this: I need to knit myself more sweaters this year. It just needs to happen. I also would like to fold this in with another ongoing goal I challenge myself with each year: destashing! I have many sweater's-worth quantities of yarn in my stash, and it's criminal that they haven't become beautiful wardrobe staples by now.

I finished the lacy top I was knitting with Bijou Basin Ranch's yak/silk laceweight yarn, Shangri-La (thought I still need to photograph it and share it with the world at large), so I decided to cast on for another dolman-style top using some sock yarn for my stash and breaking my cardigans-only rule for sweater-making yet again. Go figure!

While I'd love to make the Roxborough Dolman with the yarn specified, Canopy Fingering from The Fibre Company, I thought I'd try shopping from my stash this time around (that makes more room for future yarn purchases, right?!). Naturally, I didn't quite have enough yardage for the main color lurking in my stash, so I decided to get a little creative, using a leftover skein of Malabrigo Sock for contrasting ribbed bands, then mixing a skein of Anzula Squishy in Clay and Shalimar Zoe Sock in Loden for the body of the sweater. I'm not very far along, but I like the way the colors are playing together so far!

No, really - this is my Panoramic Stole.
I've also made modest progress on my Panoramic Stole - plus I tracked down another skein of Malabrigo Sock in Chocolate Amargo, which turned out to be a more difficult task that I would have imagined. Apparently this is a very popular color, as most places I checked (Doodlebug Yarn, Webs, Jimmy Beans Wool, etc) were completely sold out of it! I finally located a skein at Eat. Sleep. Knit., so I placed an order last Friday and it arrived promptly on Monday afternoon.

I finished the first cycle of mesh patterning and short-row shaping; already it's becoming difficult to photograph. This will definitely take several months to complete; my guess is the destash dolman will be done long before I even reach the halfway point on this stole. It will definitely be worth it, though, as I'm sure I'll get plenty of use out of the stole once it's complete. Any bets on when that might reasonably occur?

Don't forget to check out more awesome bloggage (that's a word now) by visiting Tami's Amis for WIP Wednesday shenanigans!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Belated Xmas Swag

Santa was very good to me this year, and not just in the realm of knitterly gifts. My destash efforts will be much easier with the bevvy of new books that were under my Christmas tree: Coastal Knits, Mostly Mittens, November Knits, Colorwork Creations, Cast On Bind Off, and Alice Starmore's Charts for Color Knitting.

I also got a pretty new fabric case for my interchangeable needles (plus one of the tips sizes I was lacking) and some Karbonz circulars, which I'm excited to try with the metal tips - I have a pair of  the original DPNs without the tips, so I'm interested to compare them.

I think I'm finally gotten back into the swing of things upon our return to Chicago - working, knitting, spinning, etc. I've finished a few projects over this past weekend that I'll be sharing on this blog just as soon as I can get them photographed; I also have one more round of Secret Knitting that I'll be posting later this week. See you on WIP Wednesday!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Last 2 FO's of 2012

Happy FO Friday! Today I'm sharing the last two projects completed in 2012. Both were made during the course of my trip to Kansas City for the holidays. I crocheted this cute little crab on the train ride down from Chicago - it was a great way to spend the first few hours of the trip! Tyler and I named him Eugene (I've been watching a lot of Spongebob Squarepants on Netflix streaming) and he became my little buddy for the duration of our trip. He's sitting atop my pretty new Knitter's Pride needle case that I got for Christmas, though I think his permanent home will be somewhere in my office.

The yarn, safety eyes and pattern were part of the first shipment of the Fresh Stitches Just Add Stuffing Kit Club - the perfect thing to grab and go when packing!

The Here and There hat by Veera Välimäki has been lurking in my queue since early last year, so I figured this trip would be the perfect time to cast on. I knit it in similar colors to those pictured in the pattern using Malabrigo Worsted in Pigeon and Tuareg; it turned out to be a really great on-the-go project. Plus, I was able to hold a conversation without losing my place in the pattern. I finished it on New Year's Eve...not a bad way to close out 2012!

Looking for more fun with FO's? Hop on over to the Tami's Ami's Blog!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

WIP Wednesday!

We're back in Chicago and it's time to get back to my usual blogging and work schedule. There are two projects left over from 2012 to share on my first WIP Wednesday of 2013 - so far, I have resisted the urge to cast on for anything else!

I've made some major progress on the lacy mesh top I've been knitting with Shangri-La. While I was in Kansas City, I finished the first piece, undid the provisional cast-on at the start, and began the second piece from those stitches. On the train yesterday, I was able to complete the sleeves and decrease down to the body of the sweater. It won't be long til I'm totally done - I hope to be seaming and blocking by next week!

My second WIP was started on Christmas day and will definitely be a long-term project: I'm making the Panoramic Stole from Coastal Knits using a skein of Malabrigo Sock in Chocolate Amargo. I traded the yarn from a friend (check out her blog here) and was looking for a good project to put it to good use. I'll have to buy a second skein to finish the job, so I'm not sure if this counts as destash - but I'm excited to have a pretty wrap that will go with pretty much anything in my wardrobe.

Be sure to check out more WIP Wednesday posts by visiting the Tami's Amis Blog!